« Silent night, deadly night | Main | Revenge of the presents »

December 26, 2008


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


To supply a female writer, I would suggest Clemence Housman's "The Were-Wolf": http://www.gutenberg.org/files/13131/13131-h/13131-h.htm

(Clemence is poet/textual critic A.E. Housman's sister.)


I also like August Derleth's "The Drifting Snow" (vampires in the snow).


You list "The Wicker Man (1973) The great solstice movie of all time. There is no remake." -- but of course there was a remake with Nicholas Cage, but hardly in the same league. And for our office gift swap game, I ended up with a collection of horror movies, including "Silent Night, Bloody Night", i was well pleased.


catherwood, ixnay on the emakeray. Shtung! Shtung!

Are we including movies now? Because then I would've linked to Kuolleiden talvi, the 2007 Finnish student film about about a Romeroesque zombie holocaust in rural Finland. Remember, when the zombies come, they'll reach Finland last. (Update: The link is dead now. Crap. It's up on YouTube, in four parts, but the quality is poor and there's no subtitles. Part one is here. Plenty of torrents out there, too, which may be the way to go.)

Will Død snø be on next year's list? It's too soon to tell.


By the way, Cooper's radioplay "Northern Lights" was written for Quiet, Please, not for Lights Out. My previous comment was incorrect. I very much regret the error. (There is, in fact, quite the drama regarding Cooper's departure from Lights Out due to "creative differences" with charismatic hack Arch Oboler, which is of interest only to Old Time Radio enthusiasts and showbiz drama queens.)

Steven Kaye

I don't know the title of it, but in junior high or high school we watched a movie in which the plot device involved ropes strung between buildings so people wouldn't get lost and freeze to death in the winter.

Bryan Alexander

@Mark, thank you for those tales. Added to the post.

@catherwood, congrats on your movie haul. But I refuse to acknowledge any Wicker Man sequel.

@HP, many thanks for those cinematic recommendations. Duly added.
(And we appreciate the Cooper/Oboler background, being worshippers of audio terror)

@Steven Kaye, how perfect a metaphor for either junior high or high school is such a scene.

Steve B

Two compilations for the season, one with me and one without, if I might:

My friend Brian who runs Silber asked me to contribute to this year's instance of his biennial seasonal music compilation.

The 2008 installment of our Christmas compilation series features 26 tracks of norwegian folk, indie ambient, shoegaze, aggressive ambient, & electroacoustics. Strangely enough there seem to be somewhere around zero covers of traditional Christmas tunes this time out.

The entire album is available for free download on archive.org.

My piece "Sleighride" was created with Chapman Stick, E-Bows, capos, Moog MF-104 analog delay, Boss RC-20 & RC-20XL, Digitech Jamman, then processed through Sound Soap and Audacity.

Also on archive.org for free download, the Darkmass 2008 compilation that I have nothing to do with other than personal enjoyment of -

Rules: only dark ambient and/or drone, composed especially for this comp, deadline: Dec.24. So you have to express your hate for Christmas in a subdued manner.


I've read various accounts of Cooper's creation of and departure from Lights Out, but if you're familiar with both Cooper's and Oboler's writing style, it's fairly easy to fill in the blanks.

As I understand it (and I am notoriously unreliable), Wyllis Cooper originally created Lights Out as a 15-minute, live anthology program of scary stories, typified by Cooper's amazing sense of mood and dialog. None of these broadcasts survive.

When the show became a success, the show was expanded to a half-hour, transcribed program, Arch Oboler was brought on board, and Oboler soon smooth-talked his way into being chief writer, director, host, and producer. Cooper's contributions were marginalized in favor of more Oboler material. Oboler's approach favored audio special effects over storytelling, and emphasized Oboler's stilted dialog, stereotyped characters, pedantic leftism,* and increasingly over-the-top scenarios ("Chickenheart," for crying out loud).

Cooper left the show in disgust shortly thereafter, and only a few Cooper-scripted episodes for Lights Out survive (notably "Reunion after Death," which invites comparison to Peter Straub's Ghost Story).

Cooper apparently left radio for a time, and resurfaces after the war as a copywriter for WOR in New York, where he befriended announcer Ernest Chappell. One night, Chappell said that he always had ambitions to be an actor, and Cooper offered to write him some scripts. The result was Quiet, Please, which, in the manner of cult programming throughout history, aired only sporadically on a handful of Mutual Broadcasting stations as a transcribed program, generally late at night when few people heard it. A few episodes were traded by collectors from the beginning -- "The Thing of the Fourble Board," significantly -- but most episodes were presumed lost until Chappell passed away decades later, and a nearly complete stack of 16 RPM transcription acetates were found in his linen closet.

*Re. Oboler's politics: I'm an old Lefty myself, but jeez he could be ham-fisted about it.

Bryan Alexander

Good stuff, Steve B! Am listening to some now, while the rest download.

HP, that's terrific background. And I trust you completely.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Twitter latest

    follow me on Twitter




    Become a Fan